Trying to relieve Iraq’s debt

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said he will ask the international community to relieve the country’s debt, as envoys gather for a UN forum.

Officials said the move was aimed mainly at Arab countries, to which Iraq owes most of its $67bn debt. Meanwhile US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged countries to stand by Iraq during reconstruction.

Nearly 100 countries are represented at the economic and political reform forum near Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are also in Sweden.

The gathering is aimed at supporting Iraq’s efforts to restore stability and rebuild a functioning economy. Correspondents say progress in these areas remains fragile. The UN called the conference to review a five-year package it brokered last year, called the International Compact with Iraq. On the eve of the forum the largest Sunni Muslim bloc suspended talks on rejoining Iraq’s Shia-led government.

Shouldn’t the ones who promised the reconstruction of the country to …pay the bill for the damaged they helped to be done?

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